If Hanauer’s name doesn’t sound familiar, he’s a very successful venture capitalist, playing a role in the creation of companies like Amazon.com. This week, he took on a standard Republican talking point: the notion that job creation suffers if taxes go up on the rich. Hanauer explained very well why the GOP’s approach is backwards.
I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.
That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.
It appears that Hanauer, unlike GOP policymakers, understands supply and demand, and that three decades of concentrating wealth at the top doesn’t create an economic base that ensures broad prosperity. Republicans can keep lavishing more and more money on the rich, but they’ll only spend so much. [...]
Hanauer’s advice? Raise his taxes, make public investments, and get some money in the pockets of middle-class consumers.
Digby’s take on this rings true: “This is a person who really doesn’t want to kill the golden goose of capitalism but would like to save it. It doesn’t speak well for the future of capitalism that there are so few entrepreneurs like him.”
Hanauer was a guest on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox Business this Wednesday and he did a great job knocking down every one of Cavuto's arguments and straw men as Cavuto desperately tried to rebut Hanauer's assertions on why the rich aren't paying enough in taxes.
Here's the shortened version of their conversation with a tiny bit of paraphrasing and which does not reflect Cavuto constantly interrupting and talking over Hanauer.
The tents and tarps may be gone, but the Occupy Wall Street series of concerts is continuing.
Third Eye Blind and Jackson Browne, who are both currently on tour, announced they were performing for Occupy Wall Street on Wednesday night. Organizers said they were not seeking publicity for the tour, but rather have been genuinely inspired by the movement.
They have also contributed to “Occupy This Album,” a benefit compilation album in aid of the cause.
Other musicians who have performed at the plaza include David Crosby and Graham Nash, Tom Morello, Talib Kweli, Michael Franti, Pete Seegar and Arlo Guthrie.
In the video above, Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind performs "Jumper" in support of Occupy Wall Street, Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan, New York City. December 1, 2011.
The BBC has apologized after one their most popular hosts called to have striking public workers killed "in front of their families."
Labor unions claimed Wednesday that as many as two million public workers joined a strike over cuts in pension rights as part of an austerity program by the British government.
In an interview on BBC's The One Show Wednesday, Jeremy Clarkson, host of BBC's Top Gear, was asked about the strikes that had affected "schools, hospitals, airports, even driving tests."
"Frankly, I'd have them all shot!" Clarkson exclaimed.
"I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean how dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?"
Those remarks left The One Show host Matt Baker making an on-air apology at the end of the show.
"Although we enjoy Jeremy’s views, which he sometimes exaggerates for comical effect, we are seriously sorry if his comments about deaths on the railways has upset anyone," Baker explained.
British Prime Minister David Cameron told ITV Thursday that he hadn't see the interview but, "it's a silly thing to say."
As a BBC employee, Clarkson is essentially paid by the same British taxpayers who he was calling to have executed.
UPDATE: As several of the commenters have noted, the full context of Clarkson's remarks show that he was most likely making a point about how the BBC wants all opinions to be "balanced" with a counterpoint.
"It is evident he is adopting a different persona for comedic effect as he says this, shifting his weight before he says it," Calum Nicholson wrote for The Huffington Post. "He is role-playing, in order to satirise the BBC's need for 'balance'. To balance, in this case, his expressed opinion that the strikes are a good thing."
"It looks like this has been missed by even his defenders. Probably because he transitions into this persona with barely a pause, and delivers the lines in complete dead-pan. And so unless you are paying close attention, it is perhaps not wholly obvious."
Clarkson has since clarified that the remarks were not meant to be taken seriously, but "[i]f the BBC and I have caused any offence, I'm quite happy to apologise for it alongside them."
Yesterday morning, an Occupy Boston member told me a city official said they had to have a proper way to clean their dishes. So, a donor gave them a sink. Great, right? Well, last night, the Boston Police - in riot gear - showed up and forcibly removed the kitchen sink, much to the dismay and over protests from the occupiers. This also seems to be in violation of a restraining order issued to protect the protesters. Three protesters were arrested, and one reportedly taken away on a stretcher with injuries.
Boston Mayor Menino was furious this morning. How can he say the Occupiers are dirty hippies and evict them if they go all sanitary on him?
“I’m not going to allow them to put up a kitchen sink and occupy (that) area of the city of Boston. (We’ve) allowed them to stay for the last two months. I am mayor of all the people, not just 200 people who live on a little piece of dirt in the city of Boston. I want to make sure we’re putting the rules and regulations of the city of Boston in place at this time,” Menino told reporters Friday.
“This is beyond their rights. We’re letting them stay there, we’re not going to have them build a new town in there.”
“At this time we have no plans for eviction, but I have public safety issues. If they break the public safety rules, we’re going to go after them,” he said.
Police have previously blocked efforts of the Occupiers to bring in supplies to the camp, like winterized tents and insulation...anything that might help keep them from freezing to death in the winter. The mayor certainly can't have the protesters safe if he isn't going to be able to make the filthy dirty hippies case.
Tonight's selection was one of the most controversial songs of it's day. It caused such a stir that many radio stations even banned the ode to women's lib. I'll admit that I'm partial to it as my wife's grandmother, Lorene Allen,was a co-writer. What's your favorite "controversial" song?
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain admitted Thursday that he has "made mistakes," but maintained that a there is a conspiracy working against him, and his female accusers are motivated by money.
The former Godfather's Pizza CEO told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the women accusing him of sexual impropriety "were all asking for financial help."
In an interview earlier in the day, Cain had told The New Hampshire Union Leader that his wife "did not know that we were friends until she (Ginger White) came out with this story" of a 13-year affair.
"I have made mistakes," Cain admitted to Hannity. "But the thing about it is if you make a mistake and admit it and then you can be forgiven, you should be able to move on."
While insisting that there was no physical relationship with White, the candidate left open the possibility of some wrongdoing.
"We've been hit with another one of these accusations that we now have to address to basically prove, once again, I didn't do some of the things that I've been accused of doing," he explained. "We don't have the source yet, but I and many of my people and many of my associates are convinced that in every case it was financially motivated, that somebody somewhere is paying them off to try and smear my character."
"Who do you think might be responsible for that?" Hannity wondered.
"Sean, I have no idea," Cain replied. "We don't have any evidence yet."
"I have not done many of the things I have been accused of."
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachman says it's fine for a gay man to get married -- as long as it's to a woman.
During a town hall event in Iowa Wednesday, Jane Schmidt, president of Waverly High School Gay-Straign Alliance, asked the candidate why same sex couples couldn't get married.
"They can get married," Bachmann explained. "They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man."
"Why can’t a man marry a man?" Schmidt wondered.
"Because that’s not the law of the land," Bachmann insisted. "[T]hey have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same sex marriage."
"So you won’t support the LGBT community?" Schmidt pressed.
"No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There’s no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You’re an American citizen first and foremost and that’s it," the Minnesota Republican replied.
Bachmann is at least wrong about one thing: Same sex marriage is "the law of the land" in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont and Washington, D.C.
The AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO and a broad coalition of public sector unions announced their support for an investment of $4 billion in upgrading private infrastructure and providing jobs as part of the 'Better Buildings Challenge', a combined project of the Obama administration and the Clinton Global Initiative. The White House announced the first 14 partners that will be joining the project on Friday:
The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative that President Obama launched in February to catalyze private sector investment in commercial building upgrades and make America’s commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade. The Better Buildings Initiative is co-led by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and former President Clinton. Earlier this month, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness recommended to President Obama prioritizing the Better Buildings Initiative as an important way to support job creation. The initial partners in the Better Buildings Challenge include private sector companies, financial institutions and local governments.
“Improving building energy efficiency on a large scale is a challenge we can’t afford not to take,” said Secretary Chu. “It will create jobs, reduce energy waste, save our businesses and institutions money, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
“The Better Buildings Challenge harnesses the creativity and ingenuity of leaders across the public and private sectors to ensure America leads the world in tapping the potential of saving energy to create jobs” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “Upgrading the energy performance of the built environment will cut waste, lower pollution and spur market growth."
“The Better Buildings Challenge will make American businesses more competitive in the global economy by saving them billions in energy costs – savings they can spend on growing, expanding and hiring new workers,” said Laura Tyson, member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and professor of Global Management at UC Berkeley. “It will help put construction workers and contractors back to work and it will increase the production of energy-efficient products at U.S. manufacturing facilities. The first round of partners committing to the Better Buildings Challenge today are taking an important step to support job creation across the country.”
The partners are: Abundant Power, Best Buy, Citi, the city of Atlanta, the city of Los Angeles, Green Campus Partners, the Green Sports Alliance, Lend Lease, Metrus Energy, Renewable Funding, the Seattle 2030 District, Transcend Equity, Transwestern and USAA Real Estate Company.
The labor unions announced their support via press release:
The unprecedented investments in energy upgrades announced today as part of the presidential Better Buildings Challenge initiative will reinvigorate the economy, put Americans back to work on energy-saving retrofit projects, and build on the Clinton Global Initiative’s work last June with the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, a broad coalition of public sector unions, and the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, labor leaders said today.
The investment commitments, which are part of the Better Buildings Challenge initiative launched earlier this year to spur job creation by harnessing private sector investment in energy upgrades in commercial and industrial buildings, were unveiled at a White House roundtable event featuring President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, AFT President Randi Weingarten, corporate executives and university presidents. The challenge calls on chief executive officers, university presidents, and state and local leaders to invest in energy-saving upgrades on commercial buildings.
At the White House event today, the labor movement committed to work to invest $150 million in energy-efficient retrofit projects in the coming months.
President Obama announced that nearly $4 billion of investments have been committed already, including $2 billion by workers’ pension funds, CEOs, mayors and university presidents for energy-saving upgrades. This builds on 14 private sector commitments announced at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in June, including the labor movement’s aim to invest $10 billion in pension fund assets in job-creating infrastructure projects over the next five years.
"The Better Buildings initiative has all the right components to make a real difference—it will create profitable investment opportunities for worker pension funds, create badly needed good jobs, increase America’s competitiveness around energy savings, and address the dangers of climate change,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
“This is about smart investments in America’s future,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said at the White House event. “The initiative is a win-win-win. It puts skilled laborers back to work on projects that will cut energy bills and pollution, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and create tens of thousands of new jobs. It’s exactly what America needs now to strengthen our economy.”
The Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO said the initiative will have a profound impact on the U.S. construction industry, which is suffering a 14 percent unemployment rate nationwide, by providing apprenticeships and jobs.
“It will create much-needed pathways for Americans to gain access to job and career training while making great strides to address our critical energy and environmental challenges,” said Mark H. Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department.
The AFT has been retrofitting its headquarters building in Washington, D.C., to become LEED Silver certified, and the AFL-CIO has committed to a Better Buildings Challenge retrofit of its headquarters, expected to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent.
“We not only are asking others to commit to energy-saving retrofits, but we’re also doing it ourselves,” Weingarten said.
Over the past year, the AFL-CIO, AFT and BCTD have been working with a broad coalition of pension funds, money managers, public officials and employers to focus investment in our nation’s infrastructure projects, with a particular emphasis on energy-efficient retrofits.
The AFL-CIO has exceeded its initial Clinton Global Initiative commitment of working with existing real estate-focused investment funds to invest between $10 million and $20 million of additional capital in energy-efficient retrofits of commercial, industrial, institutional and public buildings over the next six months.